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Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back

Always Feeling Tired? These Solutions Can Help You Get Your Energy Back
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It’s 1 p.m. – just after your lunch break – and you can feel yourself slipping, slipping, slipping into an unwelcome post-meal nap. How are you supposed to complete your assignments when exhaustion envelops you like a thick, heavy fog? If you’re tired of feeling tired, try these simple tricks to get some more energy.

1. Get Sufficient Sleep

Simple science: you use your fuel during the day and require hours of unconsciousness to replenish. Actor Matthew McConaughey swears by 8.5 hours of sleep each night. “I’m not near as good the next day if I get less,” he once told People magazine.

2. Eat Your Energy

Brownies and Cheetos are darn tasty, but they won’t give you long-lasting energy. Reach for from-the-earth options like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. These foods carry protein and fiber, giving you hours of stamina instead of the minute-long jolt one gets from eating cheese curls.

Take a lesson from Carly Rae Jepson. The singer, most famous for her song “Call Me Maybe,” told Bon Appétit: “I have the same thing for breakfast every day: vanilla yogurt with granola and fruit. And if I can get my hands on some boiled eggs, I go for those, too.”

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3. Exercise

Go out and get your heart pumping. Exercise releases endorphins that will leave you feeling happy and awake. Plus, if you break a sweat during the day, you’ll sleep better at night. Double win!

4. Put Effort Into Your Appearance

When you’re confident in your appearance, you’ll feel more alive. There’s no denying we’re our least energetic selves when we’re at home, on the couch, looking ugly. Get a new haircut, buy a new outfit or try a new shade of lipstick – when you feel attractive, you’ll get a jolt every time someone looks at you.

5. Be Social

Don’t waste your beauty efforts in solitude. Surround your pretty self with conversation and laughter in order to boost your spirits and vivacity. Audrey Hepburn once said, “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” In order to reap the benefits of socializing, opt for positive, happy companions.

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6. Cut Caffeine Midday


Caffeine lingers in your system for hours after your last cup. This can hinder your ability to fall asleep and lower your rest quality when you do sleep. Even decaf varieties have traces of caffeine, so choose your drinks wisely (choose water!).

7. Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is key in all factors of health, and sleep is no exception. Your body will work harder to pump blood and carry out all of its functions if your cells are thirsty. A-listers like Beyoncé, Jessica Alba and Miranda Kerr all swear by the powers of water. If drinking enough is tough for you, grab some celery, broccoli or juicy fruits to get some water through your foods.

8. Don’t Booze Yourself to Sleep

Drinking alcohol before sleep – or even, dare I say it, to put yourself to sleep – is actually a bad idea. Boozed-up sleep is restless and low quality, which will leave you with regrets the next day.

9. Be Your Own Cheerleader

Basking in self-pity is the surest way to use up (or should I say waste?) all of your energy. Congratulate yourself for triumphs and use compliments generously. When you feel down, look for positives and seek company that will give you some good energy. Do not take to sulking alone on the couch!

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10. Let Go of Stress


Whether it’s work, family or personal issues, life is full of stressors that are determined to tire us out (or so it may seem). Tackle these things one at a time, and seek help if necessary.

11. Let Go of Jealousy

Jealousy, like stress and general negativity, can suck up our resources, resulting in a tired, dried-up existence. It’s natural to want what others have, but it is a self-destroying practice. Consider all of the things you have. Prioritize gratefulness and shift your perspective toward the bright side.

12. Smile More

It’s life’s cheapest, most effective accessory! Smiling more can actually lift your spirits and make you feel more energetic. Like I said before, every interaction is an exchange of energy. If you’re smiling at someone, the other person is more likely to respond with her own positive energy.

13. Write To-Do Lists

If you’re feeling bogged down with tasks, take to writing lists. This may make it seem like you have even more to do, but it will really help you rank the items by importance. Complete the minor items first, checking them off as you go. You’ll feel more accomplished, setting you on a productivity roll.

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14. Get Fresh Air


Fill your lungs with the great outdoors to make your cells feel more alive. Your body can complete its internal workings easier when cells are at their best. Rain, wind and sunshine will also engage your sensory system and wake you up to your surroundings.

15. Listen to Music

There’s a reason people call it “pump up” music. Certain varieties can really give you a push. Your body can feel the rhythm and fend off the tiredness. Look at athletes: Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has a workout playlist that revs him up for competitions. It certainly works for him!

16. Take a Shower

Finally, if you need an immediate boost, hop in the shower. The water, which will be more effective when cold, will give you the jolt you need to finish the day’s duties.

Incorporate one or more of these into your life in order to wind up and do more.

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Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Kayla Matthews

Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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